Overspent and overprovisioned: why you need a multicloud strategy

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Enterprises are fast shifting to multicloud to get the flexibility they need to innovate at speed and accelerate time to market, but with this comes added complexity. Failure to manage multicloud properly can escalate costs and affect business agility.

IDC predicts that worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure will more than double from $229 billion this year to nearly $500 billion in 2023. Software as a service (SaaS) will be the largest category here, capturing more than 50% of all public cloud spending throughout the forecast, followed by infrastructure as a service (IaaS). SaaS spending, which is made up of applications and system infrastructure software (SIS), will be dominated by application purchases.

“Adoption of public cloud services continues to grow rapidly as enterprises, especially professional services, telecommunications and retail, continue to shift from traditional application software to SaaS and from traditional infrastructure to IaaS to empower customer experience and operational-led digital transformation initiatives,” explains Eileen Smith, Program Director, Customer Insights and Analysis at IDC.

Through IaaS, enterprises can avoid the huge costs and complexity of owning their own infrastructure. Instead, IaaS uses a pay-as-you-go service model from the provider, which is not only cost effective, but is scalable. This provides enterprises with the flexibility and renewed agility to operate efficiently in the digital economy. Instant provisioning of services enables enterprises to accelerate time to market, providing them with an enviable competitive edge. This is all achieved in a cloud model that is reliable and offers the highest levels of security and compliance.

With multicloud, enterprises can enjoy a wide variety of different services, including IaaS, SaaS and platform as a service (PaaS). Greater choice, however, creates management issues and leaves enterprises open to the problem of cloud sprawl and the uncontrolled proliferation of providers and services.

“Enterprises understand the business benefits that can be had from moving to a cloud infrastructure and consuming the value-added services offered by providers. But what they often don’t appreciate is the complexity of managing them and tracking the evolutions offered by different cloud providers,” explains Alexis Dupuydauby, Cloud Professional and Managed Services Marketing Director at Orange Business Services.

Multicloud management: the key to cloud benefits

Effective multicloud management is paramount if an enterprise is to see the elasticity, speed, on-demand availability and innovation it expects from its cloud investment to get to market quicker.

“If an enterprise simply picks up its infrastructure and puts it in the cloud, it will see very few benefits,” explains Dupuydauby. “If they really want to make a real difference in accelerating business performance and time to market, they need to change the way they view IT and look at how they can effectively manage services and not traditional assets.”

Ad hoc approach to multicloud deployment

Transitioning an IT infrastructure to multicloud is a challenge. Enterprises require the cloud management competency to deal with different providers and services. The process also requires a management re-think or enterprises will be very disappointed when it comes to looking at any cost savings.

“The tendency for enterprises when buying cloud services is to overprovision,” explains Robyn Chegrouche, Head of Professional Services, Orange Cloud for Business. “We can help CTOs optimize cost and application performance, so they don’t overprovision on capacity. This is typically where we usually see the biggest overspend,” adds Chegrouche.

Gartner predicts that the 10 largest public cloud providers will take at least half of the total public cloud market until at least 2023. “The dominance of mega-vendors in the public cloud services market is behind the main reason that enterprise buyers choose multiple cloud vendors,” explains Michael Warrilow, VP Analyst at Gartner.

Why cloud strategy is important

Organizations that don’t put a high-level cloud strategy in place risk failure and losing their cloud investment, according to Gartner.

“Exploiting cloud successfully and safely requires multiple domains to coordinate and develop a business-driven decision framework and best-practice IT operational models,” explains David Cearley, Research Vice President and Fellow at Gartner. “This helps to standardize cloud strategy across an organization, while allowing for an approach that will meet the unique needs of different use cases and business units.”

Dupuydauby agrees: “The complexities created by multicloud magnify the traditional challenges that IT faces, including migration, visibility, security, performance and automation, which makes a well thought out, overarching strategy essential,” he says.

This is where Chegrouche believes that the Orange Business Services vendor-agnostic approach is a key differentiator. “We can assess an enterprise’s cloud maturity, advise on its cloud investment and draw up a strategy for its business requirements – be it with AWS, Microsoft, Google or Flexible Engine, for example.”

The process starts with a decision framework to look at business-case scenarios, the best applications for the cloud, and which to migrate first. “This is the backbone of the cloud strategy,” explains Chegrouche. “If an enterprise is already in the cloud, we look at infrastructure performance and how they can best utilize what they have purchased. In our experience, enterprises only utilize half what they have purchased, so there already is a significant cost saving.”

Cloud strategies need to rigorously outline security and compliance as well as multicloud management. Orange Business Services, for example, has identity access management tools that ensure that the governance of cloud services’ management is aligned with the enterprise’s security policies.

Network integration is another concern. “Networks have to be properly connected with security between the cloud and solutions,” explains Dupuydauby. “This isn’t easy and needs a carefully mapped out multicloud management strategy, which is where a vendor agnostic partner can help.”

Ongoing commitment

For multicloud, it is important that enterprises realize that cloud management and optimization is a continuous process of enhancement if they are to reap its many benefits in getting products and services to market faster.

Alongside the growing cloud skills gap, many enterprises are finding cloud management a struggle. This is where a partner can play a central role in helping find the right technologies appropriate to your workloads – optimizing and managing them to make the multicloud journey a successful and profitable one.

Download our guide to driving business value with multicloud management and check out the IDC infobrief on eliminating multicloud chaos.